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Mother of Tears: The Third Mother

Evil overtakes Rome in this gore-heavy horror flick.

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The latest film from Italian gore-horror master Dario Argento -- the last of a trilogy -- doesn't offer a compelling story, quality acting or skillful pacing. However, it does give fans what they've likely come to see: disemboweling, the forcible removal of eyeballs and other body parts, copious bloodletting and attractive topless women, including the director's daughter, Asia Argento. Argento portrays Sarah, a student archeologist in Rome, who ill-advisedly opens a recently unearthed urn covered in weird symbols. This act unleashes a powerful witch -- plus a load of related mayhem -- whom Sarah must find and kill. The sketchy plot resorts to some dreadful cheats to advance the story. The film's final sequence offers better aspects of Argento's idiosyncratic B-movie cannon: A chase set in a maze of catacombs is juiced with lots of artful colored light and provides a spooky claustrophobic feel. But inevitably, it ends with more topless women being impaled. Starts Fri., Aug. 8. Oaks (AH)

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